monthly health topic

Freshen Up Your Summer Picnic

Make the menu at your next gathering more memorable with these fresh new takes on traditional picnic picks.

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Freshen Up Your Summer Picnic

freshen up your summer picnic

simple summertime swaps


Dips make a perfect appetizer. Try one of these light and flavorful treats for a quick snack.

  • Combine diced peaches, cherry tomatoes, jalapeños, basil, red onion and lime juice for a sweet and tangy salsa.
  • Pair low-fat Greek yogurt with chopped spinach, pesto and black pepper for a creamy Spinach Pesto Dip.
  • Blend black beans, fat-free salsa, fat-free Greek yogurt and cumin. Garnish with cilantro for a crowd-pleasing dip. Add diced jalapeño peppers if you like it spicy.
  • Add crunch by pairing with whole grain crackers/chips or crisp raw veggies for dipping.

Main Dish:

Hamburgers and hot dogs are American staples that ranks as favorites among all ages. Try these fresh and tasty toppings to take them to the next level.


  • Avocado with mango salsa or grilled pineapple with cilantro
  • Extra virgin olive oil, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil
  • Crumbled feta cheese, extra virgin olive oil, red onion
  • Sun-dried tomatoes, fresh spinach, goat cheese

Hot dogs:

  • Mango salsa, grilled onions, jerk seasoning
  • Sweet corn, pickle relish, jalapeño peppers
  • Shredded cucumber, tomato, onion, feta, olives and oregano


What’s a picnic without sides? Try our twist on these mouthwatering favorites.

  • Just 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise can have 180 calories and 20 grams of fat. For your salads and slaws, swap mayonnaise for low-fat Greek yogurt, which has 110 calories and 3.5g fat per container.
  • Lighten up dressings on salads by using zesty vinaigrettes or olive oil.
  • Infuse corn on the cob with flavor by adding fresh lime juice, cayenne pepper and Parmesan cheese


Nothing cools you off and quenches your thirst like water. Create your own gourmet, refreshing, fruit-infused drinks.

  • Cucumber Quencher: mint, cucumber, lime
  • Strawberry Basil Blast: strawberries, lemon, basil
  • Citrus Sensation: lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange
  • Raspberry Rosemary Zinger: rosemary, raspberries, lemon

Or, add some unexpected flavor to these other summer stand-bys:

  • Unsweetened teas with fresh lemon, lime or mint
  • Iced coffee mixed with fresh mint, vanilla extract or cinnamon


Did you know that eating fruit may help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain cancers? Train your taste buds to enjoy the natural sweetness of fruit.

  • Grilling caramelizes fruit and brings out its natural sweetness – try grilled watermelon, pineapple, peaches or bananas.
  • Pair grilled watermelon with arugula and balsamic dressing for a juicy fruit salad.
  • Brighten up your plate with colorful fruit skewers made with strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, kiwi and blueberries.
  • Mix your favorite diced fruit with honey and mint for a fresh and sweet summer treat.